Sunday, May 22

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness review: Terrifying entertainment

Is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness worth seeing in theaters? What surprises does it hold? Major SPOILERS ahead. 

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is finally in theaters. After seeing the project earn $86 million opening day, it’s clear that this was a highly anticipated movie. It wasn’t just the movie itself that Marvel Cinematic Universe fans were excited to see. There are two big reasons this writer and others were excited.

First, there’s the return of Wanda Maximoff. After her Disney Plus debut in WandaVision people didn’t know what to expect from her. After all, she was studying dark magic and she was already more powerful than the Sorcerer Supreme. That meant that even Stephen Strange’s powers would pale in comparison.

Second, there’s the possibility of new Marvel Comics characters showing up. The two previous movies introduced new heroes and villains to the MCU. The previews showed that this was no different. Even with that, the question is that enough to pay to see it at the movies? Allow this writer to give a spoiler full review of the movie and why you should see Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness before it leaves theaters.

*** Warning! This article will contain major SPOILERS. If you don’t want to know the secrets of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, do not read any further. ***

(L-R): Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez, Benedict Wong as Wong, and Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange in Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

The heroes

First and foremost, Doctor Strange and America Chavez rocked. The pair didn’t get on right away, with America starting off hesitant about Stephen Strange. It helps to add some drama to the movie because, after what America experiences in the opening, why would she trust any version of Stephen Strange? Eventually, the story becomes about more than just protecting America Chavez. Both characters have to learn to trust themselves and their abilities.

None of this would have been done well without Benedict Cumberbatch and Xochitl Gomez working well together on-screen. Their chemistry was superb. Gomez’s performance highlighted that Marvel Studios definitely cast the right person to play America Chavez. However, this writer hopes that this version of the character eventually develops America’s attitude from the comics.

You can’t talk about the heroes without mentioning the Sorcerer Supreme. No, not Stephen Strange. After the “blip”, Wong became the Sorcerer Supreme, and he shows that he takes the job more seriously than Strange did. Plus, even with the responsibilities, Wong still finds a way to be a teacher.

Grade: A

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Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

The antagonist

Write this in stone. No comic book character has ever been more frightening than the Scarlet Witch. The way she attacked Thanos in Avengers: Endgame and put fear in him was nothing compared to what we see in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The things Wanda does here highlight that she is not to be messed with. The entirety of powerful sorcerers couldn’t stop her. Doctor Strange couldn’t trap her. Not even being in different universes could keep Wanda away from her goal of taking America Chavez’ powers. She defeated everyone she went up against.

Wanda wasn’t fighting for power. Wanda was fighting for love. She wanted to be with her kids again, even if it meant that she’d kill people and destroy the multiverse to do it. The funny thing is she technically didn’t lose in the end. She is defeated because she sees what she’d become.

The What if…? story of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be spectacular. Marvel Studios could do an entire season on the decisions made in this movie.

Grade: A++

On left: Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange in Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Doctor Strange in the Horrorverse

This may not have been The Conjuring or Candyman, or Nightmare on Elm Street  and no one expected it to be. Nevertheless, Marvel Studios was successful in making their first horror project. The first Doctor Strange was trippy. It was easy to see how the sequel could become scary. The difficult part was adding horror elements while keeping it PG-13, but Marvel Studios made it look easy.

The creative team did a good job doing it. They paid tribute to horror movies throughout with some terrifying imagery, such as the scene of Wanda crawling through a reflection like the girl from The Ring – a scene created to make fans jump. There was also the scene with evil Stephen Strange where the scenery was dark, depressing, and things could pop up out of nowhere.

Scary-ish, but not a terrifying movie. A good first step. Brother Voodoo should be the character used to go all out when Marvel wants to take the next step in horror.

Grade: C

A scene from Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios 2022. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

The Visuals

There’s a fine line between cheesy and incredible. This was incredible. If Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness isn’t nominated for an award for the special effects, it will confirm everything that people have said about award shows and their comic book bias.

There has never been a movie with CGI that’s looked this good. The magical effects would look bright and beautiful at times then turn into something dark and ominous. The scene where the two Doctor Stranges fight each other was the best example of the creativity used in crafting some of the battle sequences. The two Sorcerer Supremes battled with music notes that actually played music while they fought – it’s a scene that this writer can’t wait to watch again.

And then there was the Scarlet Witch. No matter how many times she used her powers, they looked stunning, especially when she had the battle with the Illuminati.

Grade: A+

MARVEL’S INHUMANS – ABC’s “Marvel’s Inhumans” stars Anson Mount as Black Bolt. (ABC/Karen Neal)

The Multiverse of Surprises

Speaking of the Illuminati, Marvel did a better job of hiding some of the secrets in this one than they did with previous films.

The arrival of both Captain Carter (played by Hayley Atwell) and Professor Charles Xavier (Sir Patrick Stewart) were teased in trailers, but more surprises would come. The hidden surprises of Black Bolt (played by Anson Mount from the ABC series Inhumans) and Reed Richards (played by John Krasinski) were nicely done. Seeing Krasinski finally get to play Mr. Fantastic was amazing. This writer popped up for joy for his appearance. He looked as perfect in this role as everyone thought he would be.

The Lashana Lynch return as this earth’s Captain Marvel was something that few saw coming. Since all it would have taken was being in Carol Danvers’ place during the accident, it’s easy to see how she could have been Captain Marvel here.

And, of course, there’s Charlize Theron appearing at the end as Clea, which is just an awesome tease for what’s to come.

Grade: A+

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Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange in Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Doctor Strange rating

There has been something of a mixed response to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness online. The negative reactions seem to come from non-comic book fans, while many of the people who loved it are fans of comics. There were a lot of hints to Jonathan Hickman’s run of New Avengers, Fantastic Four, and Secret Wars. Something that a lot of people may not have understood.

This writer was anticipating Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as soon as it was announced. The idea of the MCU traveling through the multiverse is exciting. The negative of this is that looking forward to a project can leave the viewer disappointed. That said, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness did not disappoint.

Not only was it a great movie, it’s one that deserves the cinematic experience. There are certain parts that will feel different when you’re watching this project on a big screen around movie and Marvel fans. This writer thinks that springing for 3-D is a good idea as well.

Grade: A

What do you think, readers? Have you seen Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness? If so, what did you think? Let us know in the comments below. 



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